Towards the end of our family gathering last week I noticed little Karalee sound asleep on her mother’s lap. Moments before she had been running around with her cousins engaged in being a princess. Karalee’s life was coming into balance, whether she wanted it to or not.
For many families the busy Christmas season seems to move at a pace where catching one’s breath happens driving from activity to activity. I can easily find my day planner crowded with important things that need doing and little space between the doings.
Yet the beginning of Advent always calls me back to balance—moments of solitude where God can put in me what he will later pull out of me during my day planner hours. Advent speaks of the coming of the One who is my Source, so wisdom leads me into his presence to rest before I go back to being a princess.
Henri Nouwen understood this balance, “In solitude we can listen to the voice of the One who spoke to us before we could speak a word, who healed us before we could make any gesture to help, who set us free long before we could free others, and who loved us long before we could love anyone.”
Give yourself the gift of solitude this season:
- Steal a few extra moments in bed each morning so you can put your day into the hands of the One who created it.
- Schedule solitude times for your children—an hour of quiet reading on their beds or rest time listening to music. Then use that time for your own hour of silently sitting with Jesus.
- Linger over your coffee and Bible a little longer.
- Take a day just to be by yourself with the Lord. Escape to the beach, a quiet cafe, or walk in the park.
- Read through the book of Luke, as Teri Lynne Underwood suggests, giving herself a daily dose of stillness.
It doesn’t take much to bring your life back into balance.
What do you do to balance your life between solitude and activity? How has keeping it balanced colored your days and your relationship with God and others? Share your tips below as we would love to learn from you.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis